Green Deal branded as ‘hallmark’ of new European Commission

(EurActiv, 11 Sep 2019) “I want the European Green Deal to become Europe’s hallmark,” said European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, as she tasked her second-in-command with overseeing Europe’s goal of achieving climate neutrality by mid-century.

“At the heart” of von der Leyen’s new Commission “is our commitment to becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent,” the incoming Commission chief said on Tuesday (10 September) as she presented her team and their respective portfolios.

The appointment of Frans Timmermans as Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal – as well as Climate Action Commissioner – was von der Leyen’s opening revelation as she unveiled her new team.

Climate neutrality “is a long-term economic imperative,” she stressed, saying “those who act first and fastest will be the ones who grasp the opportunities from the ecological transition.”

“I want Europe to be the front-runner. I want Europe to be the exporter of knowledge, technologies and best practice,” the new Commission chief said, introducing Timmermans as her second-in-conmmand.

55% carbon reduction target

Timmermans, who is currently serving as first deputy to outgoing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, will also be the Commission’s head of climate action, taking over duties from Spain’s Miguel Arias Cañete.

In a break with Juncker’s structure, the top officials will now have access to the services of the executive’s directorates-general. In Timmermans’ case, that is DG Clima.

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EurActiv, 11 Sep 2019: Green Deal branded as ‘hallmark’ of new European Commission